Helped Legislature Establish and Pass the "Minnesota Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program"
Late last year, the Minnesota Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program was passed. In 2015 and 2016, eight grants of $125,000 each were awarded to research institutions in the state for new and innovative treatments and rehabilitative efforts for functional improvement of people living with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.
This is a huge step forward in SCI (and TBI) recovery for the state of Minnesota. Leading this effort to pass the bill through Minnesota Legislature is Rob Wudlick, a quadriplegic who was injured in April 2011 from a diving accident while whitewater raft guiding in the Grand Canyon. Rob, who had graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Industrial & Management Engineering, fractured his spine at the C4-C5 level and severely bruised his spinal cord. After hospitalization in Las Vegas and rehabilitation at the Craig Institute in Colorado, the Minnesota native returned home and began extensive therapy at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley. He became an advocate for the Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise (ABLE) program and innovative therapies so as to regain as much independence as possible.
But his advocacy didn't stop there. Determined to make a difference in the lives of people living with spinal cord injuries, Rob became a founding member and chairman of the board for the Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation (www.gusu2cure.org). The group, co-founded by Matthew Rodreick, who's son was paralyzed in Costa Rica, advocates, unites and works to support spinal cord injury medical research and adaptive fitness.
We admire Rob for his tireless efforts in legislative lobbying and for his determination to bring SCI recovery to the next level...and all with a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face.
We BEL13VE he will Get Up and Stand Up one day.
Bicycling from Alaska to Argentina for Spinal Cord Research
On August 23, 2016, Ian Andersen, a 2015 USC graduate, embarked on a 10-month, 17,500 mile bike trek from the Arctic Ocean bordering the top of Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina, otherwise known as "The End of the World." The purpose of his trip is to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries and disabilitles (SCI/Ds) and the impact these have on American families.
Why the ride? Because, In September of 2013, Ian's best friend - Natalie Fung - was involved in a two-car collision with a drunk driver that left her with a spinal cord injury and paralyzed from the chest down. The incident turned her life upside down and affected her friends and family. Ian's goal is to raise over $1 for each mile ridden (about $20,000) for the non-profit United Spinal Association (USA) that supports the many people like Natalie who suffer from spinal cord injuries and diseases through research, resource centers and legislation advocacy. HIs goal is to give these issues mainstream exposure and help work toward permanent scientific solutions. He'll be stopping at rehabilitation centers, medic events, town centres, and landmarks along the route to promote the cause.
Ian, who grew up in Minneapolis, Minn. is an experienced designer with a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Southern California. For more details on Ian's journey and to make donations, visit Ride With Ian and to follow his progress and see his daily photo, visit Ride With Ian on Instagram.
Kudos Ian Andersen. We BEL13VE in you...Pedal On!
Rob Wudlick - front left